But I know thousands (millions?) of other authors would still love the support of a traditional publisher. That's why I love sharing my experiences with you. Chances are, you're only going to get one shot at success in the traditional publishing world. The more prepared you are for it, the better!
NEXT ON THE AGENDA: #13 BOOK COVERS!!
Here's the bottom line: your publisher has total control over what your cover is going to look like. That's even plainly spelled out in your contract. So if you have your heart set on one particular design for your book, put it this way:
Just don't get your heart set on one particular design. ;)
Because it may not be the one you end up with.
Now there are upsides to having your book cover designed in-house. It's really nice not to have to pay out of your own pocket for a cover, which all indie authors have to do, including me (though it was worth it!). It's also great not having the pressure of designing your own cover or choosing from the talented artists out there.
Because there are thousands of excellent book designers for hire.
So there are definite benefits to having the publisher design your cover. But just be warned: your opinion is not going to be the top priority. The publisher, the marketing & sales departments and your editor will be most central to the process.
Here's how it's going to work when you get your book deal.
The in-house designer is going to either get a summary of your book - or have the opportunity to read the manuscript itself. It's a long, time-consuming process that must begin shortly after you sign your contract.
About nine or ten months before your book hits the shelves, your editor will send you the cover design - most likely by email. He or she will be really excited for your feedback. People do get excited about their projects at publishing houses and that support feels great. But these 'ups' are also peppered with lots of challenges, so be prepared for a rollercoaster ride.
I actually got to see my cover art in my editor's office because my husband and I were in New York on other business.
It was always a treat to visit my editor (whom I loved!) in the low-key glamour of the Simon & Schuster headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. But that day, I was happier than usual, walking on air.